Every day, more and more mobile apps are being built and published.

Apple has a rigorous review process that all apps must pass before they are approved.

Unfortunately, some apps do get rejected straight out the gate. It’s not always easy to find out what you need to do in order to avoid app store rejection.

According to Apple, 88% of those rejections occur because of these common app rejections.

If you want to maintain a strong reputation as you submit more apps to the iOS app store, you must play by their rules.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you traverse the minefield of guidelines that lie between developers and a space on the iOS app store, to help you avoid app store rejection!

1. Poor Performance

It doesn’t matter how stunning your app looks or how entertaining it is, Apple expects it to run fluidly. If the entry screen causes confusion or frustration, if navigation is choppy, if pages take too long to load, users will be unhappy. And Apple will keep that from happening by outright rejecting your app.

2. Website or Application?

Your app provides a limited user experience as it is not sufficiently different from a mobile browsing experience. As such, the experience it provides is similar to the general experience of using Safari. Including iOS features such as push notifications, Core Location, and sharing do not provide a robust enough experience to be appropriate for the App Store.

Guideline 4.2 – Design – Minimum Functionality

If your app is based on a website, make sure that what you upload is, in fact, an app rather than a website in an app wrapper.

3. Lack of Valuable Content

Similar to the point made about the lack of standard functionality, the same goes here if there is a lack of valuable content. If you’re simply aggregating a bunch of web pages with no rhyme or reason, or there isn’t much substance in the content,you can’t expect users to gain much from the experience.

4. Mentioning Other App Platforms

If it’s clear the app wasn’t built strictly for iOS, you’re going to have a difficult time getting it approved. In other words, don’t mention Android apps or any other platforms. And, when creating screenshots for the store, make sure they come from iOS devices.

5. Privacy

All apps must include a link to their privacy policy in the App Store Connect metadata field and within the app in an easily accessible manner.

Guideline 5.1.1 – Privacy – Data Collection and Storage

Apple has a very strict privacy policy requirement for all apps that appear in the iOS app store. Specifically, this includes:

  • Placing a privacy policy statement in your metadata

  • Providing an explanation of your data retention policies

  • Enabling users to withdraw consent to data collection, among other things.

6. Broken Links

Submissions to App Review, including apps you make available for pre-order, should be final versions with all necessary metadata and fully functional URLs included; placeholder text, empty websites, and other temporary content should be scrubbed before submission.

Guideline 2.1 – Performance – App Completeness

Apple has explicitly called out broken links as one of the top reasons for rejecting an app. If you haven’t taken the time to walk through your mobile app and test out each page and link, do so now.

7. Payment System

Use payment mechanisms other than in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality in the app

Guideline 3.1.1 – Payments – In-App Purchase

If your app takes payments to unlock functionality or allow the user to download digital content, transactions must go through the official Apple in-app purchasing system. This is to ensure that money is securely transferred via Apple’s marketplace.

This is something to be aware of when converting your website into a mobile app since traditional payment systems will be connected to the site.

8. Lacking Standard Functionality

Your app appears to be a pre-release, test, or trial version with a limited feature set. Apps that are created for demonstration or trial purposes are not permitted on the App Store.

Guideline 2.2 – Performance

Creating a mobile app for the wrong reasons–i.e. for the purposes of giving customers another contact channel–could result in app store rejection. The key thing to remember is that a mobile app must be useful. If all you want to do is share a contact form, and there’s no other functionality or features to the app, then there’s no reason to have it in the first place.

Demo content or trial versions are also to be avoided. All content in your app must be real and final.

9. Inaccurate Description

Make sure your app description is as to the point and accurate as possible. Also, make sure your app doesn’t describe itself as something it’s not. In sum, if your description misleads users to download the app, you’ll find yourself in hot water.

10. Incomplete Information

The last reason why Apple might reject your app is if the information you provide for the store and for review purposes is incomplete or out-of-date. In other words, make sure to include:

  • Your contact details

  • The title, description, specifications, and other details about the app

  • Categorization information

  • Special configuration notes

  • Demo account, in case your app requires a private access to any of its sections

In conclusion

If Apple became lenient in its rules and allowed buggy, spammy, or misleading apps into the store. This is why there’s a valid reason behind each app store rejection from Apple.

That’s why you should invest more time and energy in making your app. If you can spare yourself the hassle of being rejected by Apple, you can start reaping the benefits of having an app in the iOS store right away. We hope that this article will help you avoid app store rejection when you go to publish your own mobile app.

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